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Dix Hills man gets 25 years for sexual exploitation of child, feds say

A Dix Hills man was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison and lifetime supervised release after pleading guilty to six counts of sexual exploitation of a child, officials said.

Thomas J. Carey Jr., 36, admitted to photographing and sexually abusing "a boy under 10 years old," according to court papers.

The victim was not identified, nor was Carey's relationship to the child revealed.

Federal agents found 161 images involving Carey molesting the minor victim between 2007 and 2009, officials said. At the time of the videos the victim was between 8 and 10 years old, officials said.

Carey was arrested in 2009 after Homeland Security agents searched his Dix Hills home based on a tip from the Swiss national police and Interpol during an investigation into child pornography in Europe, officials said.

Before Carey was sentenced, Eastern District federal prosecutor Allen Bode read a statement in Central Islip federal court from the unidentified mother of the victim, which read, in part: "I'd like to thank all the wonderful and dedicated people who worked so hard . . . [to] bring justice to our family and most importantly to our child from the actions committed by a manipulating and perverted individual who took advantage of innocence. Our family was fully accepting, kind and trusting in every way. . . . This family will never forgive as we can hardly forget of the lies and deception. . . . Our son . . . is amazing in every way and will always be the brightest star in our universe and lives. He continues to persevere and rise above it all."

Carey's defense attorney, Leonard Lato of Hauppauge, said his client read the following statement in court:

"In life we all make mistakes, experience tragedy, and hurt other people with some of our bad decisions. Only when we move past the hurt and the anger do we learn the bigger lessons. There are no apologies I can offer that will carry enough weight to offset the pain that I caused. There are also no explanations for what I did. In time my victim and his parents will find peace. I wish that I could give that to them."

Bode had asked that Carey be sentenced to 50 years in prison. Carey's attorney had asked for 15 years.

Both Bode and Lato declined to comment after U.S. District Judge Denis R. Hurley handed down the sentence.

Loretta E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District, called the sentence "fitting for a predator who destroyed the innocence" of the victim.

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